re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zən(t)s How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) , -sən(t)s \

Definition of reconnaissance

: a preliminary survey to gain information especially : an exploratory military survey of enemy territory

Examples of reconnaissance in a Sentence

There are two helicopters available for reconnaissance. They did a reconnaissance of the enemy's position.
Recent Examples on the Web The worst of these occurred in 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea. Brad Lendon, CNN, 1 June 2022 Separately, a Russian IL-20 reconnaissance plane was spotted flying off the northern Japanese coast. Fox News, 26 May 2022 Smoky’s work saved approximately 250 ground crewmen from having to move around 40 U.S. fighters and reconnaissance planes, while a construction detail dug up the taxiway. Brenda Cain, cleveland, 9 Mar. 2022 Ships, including one of Russia’s biggest missile cruisers, were spotted by a Norwegian Air Force reconnaissance plane along its northern coast on Tuesday, the newspaper reported., 27 Jan. 2022 North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, told a Workers’ Party meeting last year that his government had completed the design of a military reconnaissance satellite. New York Times, 21 June 2022 Ukrainian military intelligence officials said there's no immediate danger, despite constant military activity and intensifying reconnaissance by Belarus near the border. Yuriy Zaliznyak, ABC News, 12 July 2022 The artillery reconnaissance officer from the National Guard Rapid Reaction Brigade, a major with a red beard who gave the first name of Denys, says that was achieved at a high cost. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 July 2022 The reconnaissance stage is generally a passive process. Ali Davachi, Forbes, 6 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reconnaissance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of reconnaissance

1779, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reconnaissance

French, literally, recognition, from Middle French reconoissance, from Old French reconoistre to recognize

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Time Traveler for reconnaissance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reconnaissance was in 1779

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Dictionary Entries Near reconnaissance



reconnaissance in force

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Statistics for reconnaissance

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reconnaissance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for reconnaissance


re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zəns How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) \

Kids Definition of reconnaissance

: a survey (as of enemy territory) to get information


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